This is the perfect pumpkin pie. Really. I've tried a few different recipes. Some that just use ginger, some from the back of cans, and some kind of complicated. I stumbled across this recipe from my husband's grandmother's stash of recipe cards. I don't know where it came from but it is just perfect. My husband absolutely fell in love with this recipe, and I've made this pie about a bajillion times now. Probably one of the best things about this pie is that it is simple. Like, seriously...check it out!
For this pumpkin pie you will need evaporated milk, regular milk, canned pumpkin, eggs, spices and sugar. See, I told you, simple!
Let me start this by saying I did not follow the assembly directions. I just went with it I guess. Needless to say it worked out fine. Anyway, I started by cracking my eggs in my bowl and mixing them gently.
Next I added everything else. Really. I just dumped it all together and gave it a good whisking. Such a blissfully simple dessert!
Next, poke holes in your pie crust! (Which I forgot to do until after I started to pour. I did poke holes, you just can't see them!) Anytime you make a pumpkin pie and pour in the filling it will get very full. Like, can hardly keep from spilling it, kind of full. I've even had some that didn't totally fit in the crust! Make sure if you do a store bought crust to get deep dish. If you do your own crust use a deeper dished pie pan.
Ta da! Beautiful isn't it? I wish I had a picture of it when it was done, but it did NOT last long enough. We had it with my parents one evening and it was so, so good. My husband and my parents like a nice dollop of cool whip on top. I however, eat it plain. I cannot stand cool whip!
I have a secret. Well, I did before this post! I've been cooking for quite a few years now. I have made boeuf bourgignon, I have made full Thanksgiving dinners, I have even made pumpkin bread pudding with vanilla creme anglaise with a spicy caramel apple sauce! I have not, however, made a successful pie crust. It's just something I have really struggled with...until I found this wonderful, amazing, perfect pie crust recipe. It is my husband's grandmothers recipe. It's super simple, and creates the perfect, flaky crust.
For this recipe you just need a few ingredients I know you have in your cabinet. Flour, salt, shortening, and water. You want your water ice cold, and cold shortening as well. Why? Well, let me get scientific with you for a moment. You want these things cold because it keeps the shortening from melting and fully mixing with the flour. When you bake your crust, the fat melts, and the liquid steams the pockets made when the fat melted. This is what makes a crust flake-y. Oh and delicious...very delicious.
Measure out your shortening and make sure it's cold. Mine was at room temperature so I stuck it in the freezer until I was ready for it.
Measure your flour and salt in a mixing bowl, and then add your chilled shortening. Then you'll want to take a fork or pastry cutter and incorporate the shortening into the flour. You do not was everything perfectly mixed and smooth, your goal is for the shortening to be in pea sized lumps. I know you just want to beat it into submission, but don't!
This next part irritates me. Mainly because I admit it, I do just want to mix it up like I do other dough's Again, resist the urge and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the flour and shortening mixture. Gently toss, and push to one side of the bowl. Then sprinkle the next tablespoon over the dry part; toss; push to the moistened side. Repeat until all flour mixture is moistened.
Gather your dough into a ball, and divide it if you are making a top and bottom crust. I didn't as I was just making a bottom crust.
You will want to flour your work space smush down your dough, sprinkle flour on it and then start to roll it out. I always flour my rolling pin as well. Another great piece of wisdom this recipe held was to always roll from the center of the dough to the edge. Great advice! It helped me keep this round versus some funky rectangular shape. Hah, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about!
Next,t ake your pie pan/plate and set it upsdie down on your dough. Cut around it. In retrospect after doing this I had a lot of extra dough overhanging the edge. I was just guessing so it wasn't perfect! On the plus side though it is much, much easier to take dough away than to add it back. Ask me how I know.
This is hopefully how your dough will look! A fairly evenly rolled out round circle of dough. Ready for the next step? It may change your life...really...it did mine.
Set your rolling pin on one edge of your dough, and wrap it around your rolling pin. Put your pie pan/plate in place, and then unroll the dough over your pie pan/plate! Ingenious! How many times have you made a dough only to have it get all broken, cracked, and otherwise disfigured before it even reached it's destination? I can't have been the only one!
Almost done! Just push the dough down, and trim up the edges!
TA-DA!!! To get the cute edges you push the dough against your finger. It sounds confusing, but I promise it isn't! Click here to see how to do this, and fancier crusts.
That's it!! Some pies will require you to pre-bake this crust, and others allow you to just add the filling and bake. Another piece of advice is to use a fork to prick some holes in the bottom before baking either way. It prevents big air bubbles from forming.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and even more I hope you get in the kitchen and try it out! Coming soon...pumpkin pie filling to go in this lovely shell! Stay tuned!
I love to try new recipes in the kitchen. I think it really could be a sickness. I think it annoys my husband some because I'm always trying different versions of a recipe. I'm not going to stick to a recipe unless I love it. So that's how I came to trying out this sauce recipe. I've made homemade sauce for awhile now but it's always been from tinned tomatoes. In hopes of having a bountiful tomato harvest someday I figured I may as well try a sauce from fresh tomatoes!
You will need 12 cups of peeled, chopped tomatoes, 2 large onions, 3 medium onions, 6 cloves of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. It really makes you wonder why there is an ingredient list a mile long on the back of your jarred sauce, doesn't it?!
To peel tomatoes you want to take a knife and cut a cross in the top (or bottom...or both).
Repeat eleventy billion times...
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop a few tomatoes in, and let them boil for about 10-15 seconds. By the way, pardon the dirty stove burner. It's an old stove and seems to have some stains around the burners...any ideas on how to clean that?!
Remove from the boiling water into the coolest water you have available I was doing so many tomatoes I just filled my sink up with cold water. As you can see the skin is coming off of this one.
About 30 minutes later I was done with my first 5 pounds of tomatoes. (I have another 5 pounds that are waiting to be turned into pizza sauce). After the skin is off you'll want to chop them up. The recipe I have called for removing seeds, however I did not do that...just too much extra work!
Here they are all peeled, chopped and looking pretty! This ended up being just about exactly 12 cups of tomatoes.
Now we need to cut our onion. Do you know how to cut an onion? Here is how I do it...
I always cut them in half from root to sprout end. The reason for this is the root part keeps the onion parts together even though it is in half.
I lay the onion cut side down on the cutting board, and cut off the very tip of the sprout end.
I then peel off the outer yellow skin that is dry or soft leaving the good parts behind.
Then, I carefully, hold the onion by placing my hand over the top of it, and cut horizontally through the onion, but not all the way through the root end.
Then I make vertical slices through the onion, but not through the root end. Keeping the root intact keeps the onion from all falling apart.
Then I slice it vertically as though I was just making regular slices. I hope that made some sort of sense and helps you out!
All three of my onions diced, sure seems like a lot of onions!
Heat some olive oil in a battered, over used dutch oven, and saute them on medium heat while you mince your garlic and measure your spices.
I'm hoping everyone out there has one of these devices...right? Please tell me you do! It's a garlic press, and you NEED to have one. As someone who minces garlic a lot, this saves me a lot of annoyances and spicy chunks in the long run.
See how small it gets the garlic! Tell me that is not the most beautiful thing you've seen today!
Toss in the garlic and spices, and cook for about 5 minutes. This recipe calls for some wine to deglaze the pan with. I used chicken stock because I have zero red wine to speak of.
Now, add your tomatoes, and let simmer for 2 or so hours. Pretty much set it and forget it kind of deal. I'd suggest checking every so often just to make sure it's not getting scorched or burnt.
The finished product. How beautiful is this?! It's basically red gold with all the time and effort that goes into it! A delicious sauce, and I love the fact that it is made fresh, however it's still not my favorite. The quest for the perfect sauce continues!
When I was younger I was a little picky about the type of meat I wanted to eat. Um, boneless, skinless chicken breasts please? I was and still am pretty picky about making sure there aren't any veins in my meat. I know it's normal, but it does give me a slight case of the heebie jeebies if I'm eating some chicken and see one. I always inspect my chicken breasts thoroughly before cooking to eliminate this problem. When I first got married if you would have told me I would prefer to buy split chicken breasts, aka chicken breast attached to a rib cage I would have probably laughed at you. I would have said it was too gross, blah blah blah. Well, I've learned that life often gives you situations in which you just have to grow up, embrace the messy, and be a brave lady. I thought today I'd give you the low down on how to take your split chicken breasts, and turn them into beautiful boneless skinless chicken breasts.
First off, you may wonder why I even go through all this work myself. Why not just bite the bullet and buy boneless skinless chicken breasts? The following split chicken breasts were .88 cents a pound. .88 cents. Boneless skinless chicken breasts were 2.88 a pound!
What we bought would have cost 25.92...
We paid 7.92
Savings 18 dollars!
Time spent deboning about 30 minutes!
(Sorry for glimpses of my husband!)
All you need are your chicken breasts, a good set of knives, and a cutting board. In case you are wondering a filet knife, or in my case a chefs knife works well. Make sure it's nice and sharp!
As you can see I have two bowls, the red one I placed all the skin and bones and extra tid bits. You could definitely use these bits to make chicken stock. You'll want to start with your chicken breast skin side up.
You'll want to start by picking a the skin, and pulling it off of the chicken breast. There will be some resistance, and it is a bit slimey and tough. Just hold on tight, and pull it off completely.
On the right side of this chicken breast you can see an edge of fat, and some skin and such.
I just take my knife and slide it along that area. I do this fairly gently, because there could be a bit of bone.
Just to point out, if you look at the back side of your chicken breast you'll see the ribs and a long cartilage like piece running to the bottom tip of the breast. This is the keel "bone". You want to cut along this.
After cutting the edge of fat off, just turn your knife sideways and cut along the keel bone. Try to get as much meat as possible with your cuts, and be careful not to cut the keel bone in half.
Here is the bone-y part I cut of my chicken breast.
Here is the backside of the chicken breast. Sorry I didn't think to take a picture of it's prettier side!
Here is my bowl of finished chicken, and my scraps. Just so you guys know, my dogs love getting little chicken bone scraps from this. You should NEVER, EVER, EVER feed your dog coked chicken bones as they will splinter and can kill your dog. Raw chicken bones, however, are pliable and therefore do not pose the same problem. If it freaks you out , or you think it could be dangerous err on the side of caution and don't give it to them! Instead, plop them in some water and boil to get some nice stock!
Lasagna sounds difficult to make. It's usually one of those meals you think "I could NEVER make that!" However, lasagna is very easy to make, and only requires a little bit of work before it's ready to slide into the oven. Now about this lasagna, this is THE lasagna recipe. There is nothing better. It is simply AMAZING. It has over 6000 reviews on allrecipes and has a five star rating. This is the type of recipe husbands love, so if you want to surprise him with a fancy yet easy meal, this is it! When I made this there was actually enough that I made two separate foil pans. One I put away for the freezer, and the other we had that night.
These are all pretty standard ingredients, so you shouldn't have to go to the ends of the earth to find them. Here's what you'll need: sweet Italian sausage (or Italian sausage), ground beef, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar, basil leaves, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley (optional), noodles, ricotta, egg, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Somewhat large list, but not too bad for two meals (or one large meal for a party).
Are you ready? Ready for your kitchen to smell amazing? Ready for your husband to drawn to the kitchen to ask what in the world your making because it smells so good?! You want to brown your sausage, beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until browned.
TIP: to get fairly fine hamburger and/or sausage while cooking I suggest using a sauce pan (deep pan) vs. a saute pan (shallow pan). PUt your meat in and stir it every 5 minutes or so until it's fully cooked. Stirring it gives it a nice non-chunky texture.
Once the meat is browned, ad din our tomato products, 1/2 cup water, sugar, basil, fennel, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and parsley. Let this simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
REMINDER: I think a lot of times you can substitute seasonings. For example you could use all itlian seasoning if you didn't have basil. However, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT leave out the fennel unless you hate it. Fennel is a very pronounced flavor in this dish, and would b lacking i it was left out!
Put your ricotta, egg, and some slat together in a bowl and...
...mix it all about!
TIP: Room temperature ricotta and egg will help the ricotta smear onto the noodles easier.
Get ready to assemble! It makes it easier to have everything at hand, and ready to go.
FYI: If you get the layers wrong, or it gets soppy, don't stress. It make look like a mess, but it will still taste like heaven.
You are going to layer your ingredients. First put some sauce down.
Next is time for noodles! The odd colors are what happens when the noodles get a little dry. They are snobby and moody like that.
Smear on your ricotta, top with a layer of mozzarella cheese slices. Ugh, are you hungry yet? No? Well, geez, who are you? Iron Man?
Now cover with foil, bake, and invite me to dinner. Err, I mean, nevermind.
I'm going to go make some lasagna now.
World's Best Lasagna Recipe
by Johnchandler at allrecipes.com
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.